Image credits: Carlos Ribera
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News Article

Almost 4 million People Fell into Poverty Between 2018-2020

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Mon, 08/09/2021 - 13:48

In two years, poverty increased 2 percent, shoving roughly 4 million people into poverty and another 1.5 percent, or 2.1 million people, into extreme poverty reports the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). Out of the 127.6 million people that make up Mexico’s population, there are now almost 67 million people living below the poverty line. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed these results on the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, poverty growth has been unequal, as indicated by a 0.9 percent reduction poverty in rural areas, while inversely growing in urban centers by 3.3 percent. Extreme poverty was observed in both rural and urban center increasing respectively by 0.5 in rural settings ad 2.1 in urban centers.

Nuevo Leon saw the largest increase in extreme poverty, swelling by 206.5 percent followed by Quintana Roo with 189 percent and Baja California by 163.8 percent. Mexico City, saw its own poverty rate increase by 163.3 percent, representing an additional 248,000 people. On the other hand, Sinaloa saw the greatest reduction in poverty with 74.1 percent decrease, followed by Nayarit with 59.9 percent and Zacatecas with 49.6 percent.

Although poverty fell by three million between 2008 and 2018, these efforts however were wiped out by the ongoing pandemic, increasing by 2 million in just two years lamented Gonzalo Hernández Licona, Director of the Oxford multidimensional Poverty Network.

Unfortunately, the federal governments frugal approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and failure to provide meaningful financial assistance magnified the pandemic’s impact, reported CONEVAL. “The COVID-19 health emergency deepened the challenges faced by social development policies in every aspect, particularly for incomes, health, education and the diet of the Mexican people.”

Without financial assistance 12.5 million people lost their jobs and those who preserved their employment saw significant pay cuts. As savings were whipped out due to unemployment or out of pocket medical expenses many people backslid into poverty. Although none of this can be undone, the government could still intervene fiscally to help reduce poverty rates and jumpstart the economy even amid a third COVID-19 wave.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
CONEVAL
Photo by:   Carlos Ribera
Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst